Updates: LeBron Poetry Contest; Paul The Octopus

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Michele Norris has updates on two stories. First, we have the winner in the LeBron James Poetry Contest. Second, we have the news of the death of Paul the Octopus, in Germany, at the age of 2 1/2. Paul was mentioned on this program in the summer after he successfully predicted the winner in several of Germany's World Cup soccer matches.


And now updates on two stories you've heard on this program. First, we have a winner in the LeBron James poetry contest. For those of you who missed this, I spoke yesterday with Dan Grech, news director of NPR member station WLRN. The station sponsored a poetry contest to celebrate the star basketball player's move from Cleveland to Miami.

DAN GRECH: We got more than 1,100 entries. And while the majority came obviously from Florida and Ohio, we got entries from 31 states, and we also got entries from Canada.

(Soundbite of drumroll)

NORRIS: A lot of entries but only one winner. And the overall winner of the LeBron James Poetry Contest?

(Soundbite of cymbal crash)

NORRIS: 24 year-old Miami resident Crystal Booker.

(Soundbite of applause)

NORRIS: And here's her entry:

Unidentified Woman: Letting go is hard, we know. The King is here, and we've warmed up his seat. Cleveland, go ahead and spit flames. You can't burn up the Heat.

(Soundbite of music)

NORRIS: In addition to bragging rights, Crystal wins two tickets to a Miami Heat game and a reading at a local poetry festival. Well Crystal, big ups.

(Soundbite of music)

NORRIS: And now an update of a sadder kind. Many of you may remember Paul the Octopus, an unlikely star of this year's World Cup. Well, Paul has gone to Octopus heaven.

He became world-famous this past summer. In his aquarium at the Oberhausen Sea Life Center in Germany, Paul demonstrated an uncanny ability to correctly choose the winner of Germany's soccer matches, all seven of them. Plus he predicted Spain's victory in the finals.

How? Jars of food: one with Germany's flag and one with the opposing team's flag. They were lowered into his tank. Whichever jar the octopus ate from determined his prediction, that's according to his keepers.

Paul lived a good, long life for an octopus. He passed away in his aquarium overnight, at the age of two and a half, apparently of natural causes. The center is considering a burial plot and what it calls a modest shrine.

A statement from Sea Life says the staff had all naturally grown very fond of him, and he will be sorely missed.

(Soundbite of song, "Octopus's Garden")

THE BEATLES (Musicians): Resting our head on the seabed, in an octopus's garden near a cave. Ah ah. We would sing and dance around because we know we can't be found. I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade. Ah ah.

NORRIS: You're listening to NPR.

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